2nd APEC III stereo view exchange - Dan Shelley

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

A close-up of the Soldiers Statue at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. The statue, by Frederick Hart, depicts three soldiers of the Vietnam era. They are placed looking toward the names on the wall at the Memorial. Hart's goal was to create a moving evocation of the experience and service of the Vietnam veteran. He has described it as follows: "They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence and of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the natures of men at war....Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident."

The wall is made of large sheets of polished black granite placed side by side. It's mirror-like surface reflects the surrounding trees, lawns, monuments, and the people looking for names. The memorial's walls point to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The 58,191 names are inscribed in chronological order of the date of the casualty, showing the war as a series of individual human sacrifices and giving each name a special place in history.

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